The disappearance of Quill Gordon, shortly after Tropical Storm Irene, meant I was able to take over this blog for a while but it also meant covering for him at work. I met many members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society and the majority of them are terrific people. Some are even a lot of fun to hang out with. For a few of them, however, it is a wonder that no one has punched them in the nose.
I don’t know how he does it, working from the end of April through the end of October — on call 24/7 — taking reservations, making beds, bailing boats, unclogging toilets, stocking firewood and all the other things that go into running an old fishing camp. Add the human element, in the form of the aforementioned members and their guests, and it is easy to understand why Quill Gordon seems a little tired and cranky by the time the leaves begin to turn.
One might ask how hard it could be, scheduling simple tasks like bed making and toilet scrubbing but, as I found out, there is a lot more to Quill’s job than toilets and beds, and few things go as planned around here. Every day brings new surprises and challenges.
Quill Gordon has returned home safely and wants his blog and his job back. He can have them. But first, one last post from me.
There was plenty of warning that Irene was coming and heavy rain was likely to fall. Quill used some of that lead time to make sure the culverts he maintains around the property were clear of debris and flowing freely. Even so, the amount of rain that fell was more than they could handle and one of his roads was over-topped.
Acres of woods upstream from the culverts were flooded.
Because the pair of 24-inch culverts beneath this section of road were clear, the water drained away fairly quickly, with minimal damage. A few trees brought down by the rushing water were cut back and Quill was able to move on to other projects, like chainsawing a path down the main road to town.
After surveying the damage in Weston — Town Office flooded, mill stream dam collapsed; back wall of the Playhouse imploded and a 1,000 pound piano flipped on its back; foundations and roads washed out; the village market and fire station full of muck, with all sorts of mud and debris everywhere else — the quick over-topping of a small road was nothing, and Quill gave himself a little pat on the back for remembering to clear the culverts.
As soon as he was gone, however, the beavers gave him the finger, or whatever passes for a finger on their stupid, webbed, rodent paws and, in less than a day, the local subsidiary of Nature’s Little Engineers, Inc. plugged the culverts and stopped the flow.
It was a hit-and-run operation, their workmanship shoddy. Quill said they hadn’t worked these culverts at all this season and I don’t think they expected the major obstacle to success they encountered, which turned out to be me. Continue reading →